What is it about?

In high-energy physics, a Majorana fermion, theoretically predicted by Ettore Majorana in 1937, is an elementary particle having the surprising property of being its own antiparticle. A condensed matter analogous of Majorana fermions can be realized as an emergent electronic state in the so-called topological superconductors. Due to their topological nature, these Majorana modes are relatively robust against impurities and disorder. Moreover, they exhibit an unusual and distinctive property: when their positions are exchanged, the final outcome does depend on the order in which exchanges are performed. Loosely speaking, exchanging Majorana modes is the quantum analogous of braiding threads: The knots they form depend on the order in which the exchanges are performed. These “quantum braids” may lead to the development of a topological quantum computer. My review is an introduction to this rapidly evolving field of research at the boundary between condensed matter physics and quantum computation. The review is published open-access. Download it for free here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/5.0102999

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Why is it important?

Due to their topological nature, their robustness against disorder, and their unusual exchange properties, Majorana states may lead to the design of viable technological platforms for topological quantum computation, which will constitute a breakthrough in quantum information science and simultaneously contribute to fundamental advances in understanding quantum physics.


What I find remarkable is that the concepts of Majorana fermions and Majorana states are ubiquitous in high-energy physics (neutrino physics, supersymmetry, black holes physics) and condensed matter physics (topological states of matter, superconductors, mesoscopic physics) as well as being relevant for technological applications, quantum computation, and pure mathematics.

Pasquale Marra
The University of Tokyo

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Majorana nanowires for topological quantum computation, Journal of Applied Physics, December 2022, American Institute of Physics,
DOI: 10.1063/5.0102999.
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